Knicks: Anthony Davis, Porzingis Share Mutual Respect


Kobe Bryant, Patrick Ewing, LeBron James and Magic Johnson are iconic NBA players. They’re also legends who have taken the time out to praise Kristaps Porzingis‘ upside and present-day tenacity.

From unforgettable legends of the past to the faces of today’s NBA, Porzingis’ hype train has recently found a home in New Orleans.

Porzingis faced, arguably, his toughest test yet on Sunday, November 15. He didn’t play especially well, but his unique combination of skill, size and athleticism left his superstar opponent impressed.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis went as far as calling Porzingis a, “Great player.”

"Kristaps Porzingis went just 4 for 15 on Sunday in a matchup against the Pelicans & Anthony Davis. The rookie’s numbers weren’t pretty, but Davis came away impressed. “(He’s) a great player. He can shoot, he can drive & he’s active. It’s going to be fun battling him,” Davis said of Porzingis."

It’s encouraging to know how highly Porzingis’ peers already think of him.

Davis is young, but he’s in his fourth season and has gone to war with some of the NBA’s all-time great power forwards. That ranges from Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki to LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.

Davis may be 22 years old, but the All-NBA First Team honoree knows what it means to be a genuinely great player.

Davis is an interesting player to weigh in on Porzingis given their loose similarities. Both are physically imposing power forwards who do a bit of everything.

Davis, of course, has put it all together. Porzingis is still in the process of doing so, but every time out, he seems to do something new to capture the NBA community’s attention.

According to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, Porzingis found great joy in being able to battle with Davis.

"“He’s one of the guys that I look up and try to learn the game from,” Porzingis said. “He proved once again why he’s so good. He just — all the baskets he got, he knows what he’s doing. He shoots at the right time. He’s running fast breaks. It’s hard to stop him, his all-around game. I try to be aggressive at the beginning. He came back to me. I think he’s the best power forward right now in the NBA. It’s tough for sure, but it was a good experience for me.”"

Davis is certainly a player who fits the mold of Porzingis’ upside.

There’s no guaranteeing that Porzingis will reach Davis’ level of superstardom. As a 7’3″ power forward with range on both ends, however, he’s a unique talent who’s receiving a great deal of hype.

Even when he struggles, the most inexperienced of basketball minds can see his appeal.

Porzingis plays team basketball. He commits hard to defending the pick-and-roll, is active in setting screens, and is quick to follow his teammates’ misses on the offensive glass.

Everyone already knows about the latter part:


For as much praise as he’s received, the most impressive aspect of Porzingis’ game is his humility. His work ethic has yet to decline and his motor on the court is often pumping more powerfully than the players around him.

Simply put: when a modern day superstar calls you great after a 4-of-15 shooting performance, you’re doing something right.